Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson devised idea for trick-play touchdown vs. Patriots
Credit for the Houston Texans' most memorable play in Sunday night's win over the New England Patriots belongs with the players not only for execution, but also innovation.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson devised the idea for the fourth-quarter trick play in which he scored a touchdown reception in the eventual 28-22 win, Texans coach Bill O'Brien said.
On first-and-goal from the Patriots' 6-yard line, Watson handed off to running back Duke Johnson, who then gave the ball to DeAndre Hopkins as the wide receiver headed to the right side on an end around. With Watson following along to his right, Hopkins then flung the ball to his quarterback, who then dove into the end zone for the 28-9 lead.
The Texans emptied the playbook with this CRAZY TD on the Patriots!
(Via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/0ttj6g9Caq
O'Brien said in his postgame news conference that Watson and other players "drew that one up in the dirt over the bye week."
"We've been working on that for a while, and it was all about the timing, where we could get the ball so we could run a play like that," O'Brien said. "The timing was right. … They executed it pretty well. It wasn't the exact look we thought we were gonna get, and they made it work."
Watson said that a play by the Chicago Bears served as the inspiration, which he took to O'Brien and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. He said the team had been working on it for four weeks.
"Me and (backup quarterback) AJ McCarron were looking at it, watching film one day," Watson said. "And we were like, 'actually, we can probably run that.' … And then Hop saw it, and Hop, of course he's like, 'yeah, let's do it, let's do it!' "
Watson appeared to be referencing a 2017 two-point conversion by the Bears against the Minnesota Vikings in which quarterback Mitchell Trubisky ended up on taking a pitch in for a score after handoffs to running back Jordan Howard and tight end Zach Miller.
This 2-point conversion play call! 💯 #MINvsCHI#DaBearspic.twitter.com/HiuA684T0X
Watson said he initially wanted to check out of the play call due to the defense's pre-snap look, but decided "me and Hop will make something work."
The play served as a punctuation to a prolific night for Watson, who also had 234 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-25 passing. He joins former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon as the only player in the Super Bowl era to have three passing touchdowns and a receiving score in the same game, according to NFL research.
The touchdown was both Watson's first receiving score and Hopkins' first as a passer.
Asked how he would rate his pass, Hopkins said: "I would give myself a 10, or an 11 maybe because I took a hit."
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
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